Who are your going to serve? It was easy for the Israelites to worship other gods because they didn’t demand much. It was easy to carry a wooden carving, throw a bit of grain at the feet of an altar and bow down to the sun. God demands more. It is easy for us to carry our own dreams and desires and live for them, throw a bit of money at a charitable cause, raise our hands and shout praise to a sports hero. God demands more. Joshua lays it out openly, either serve the Lord WITH ALL FAITHFULNESS, or you reject Him. Joshua says “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” And he concludes with his own testimony: “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” I want you to notice the standard of service Joshua demands: “with all faithfulness.” He doesn’t leave room for laid-back faith, for serving God when it is convenient or when things are going well or when life is easy. He doesn’t leave room for doing faith on our terms. He calls us to serve “with all faithfulness.” What if there is not reward? No appreciation? Nothing but opposition? Joshua says “serve the Lord with all faithfulness.” Joshua knew the struggles, he had lived through more of them than you or I combined. You know what I think he is saying here, “it is worth it.” Serve God with all faithfulness because it is worth it. You will be glad you did, even though it is tough and even though the choice is easier to serve another god, the best road is serving God with all faithfulness. I want you to think about some challenges Joshua set: “choose you this day whom you will serve.” Will you serve God, with all faithfulness, knowing that you cannot do it on your own and knowing that God is holy and jealous? Will you serve God, knowing that it is hard, that there will be opposition, and that there will be struggles and battles? Jesus said ”If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” He didn’t make it sound really attractive either! Why choose God instead of an easier route? Why serve a holy and jealous God when it is so much easier to be self-serving, to live life according to your own desires instead of yielding control to God? I don’t know where you sit this morning, whether you have ever made a decision to serve God, whether you have made one, but not made it complete and without condition, or whether you stand with Joshua saying “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” I invite you to make a choice today. Scripture doesn’t leave room for sitting on the fence, for saying we’ll serve God, but then doing things on our own. God asks for our all. What is your response? What do you say today?
“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”